The Trump administration’s record of enforcing immigration laws and delivering the lowest unemployment rate since 2000 is creating big demand for H-2 visas for seasonal guest workers.
Since March 30, the administration has certified another 32,084 guest-worker positions, expanding the number of six-month H-2A farm worker visas to 113,432.
According to the “Packer” blog, which reports on all aspects of fruit and produce harvesting, transportation, and marketing, growers are complaining complain that the wage for legal H-2A seasonal farmworkers is in the “mid-$20s per hour.” But demand for seasonal farm workers is so strong that the U.S. Department of Labor may certify up to 240,000 H-2A visas by the end of the year.
But the six-month H-2B visa program for non-farm guest workers has been limited by Congress to a maximum of 66,000 guest workers per year, since the 1990s, divided evenly between the summer and winter seasons.
However, the Gartner Group reported that the Congressional spending bill passed in March granted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen the discretionary right to double the number of H-2B visas, depending on labor market need.